Network Security

The easiest way for an external threat to get to your private data is through your network. The easiest way to eliminate that threat? Get your data out of the network. Of course, we know you wouldn’t want to do that. We also know that while you may want to sniff every packet for anything suspicious, you wouldn’t want your network to crawl either.

That’s why we’re offering to put up the most efficient checkpoints on every route that leads into and out of your system.

So what can you expect from our brand of network security?

  • Review of your policies and processes for weaknesses – If we see a loophole, we’ll recommend modifications wherever necessary.
  • Protection for your applications and infrastructure – Since we’re familiar with both software and hardware-based protection systems, we can recommend which type is best suited for your setup.
  • Automated identification of business and mission critical applications – They’ll be given priority in your network to ensure bandwidth allocation is optimised.
  • Automated network audits and vulnerability management – Tired of getting prompted by pesky vulnerability notices and don’t know what to do with them? Well, that’s why we’re here.
  • Customisable security reports that contain only relevant and accurate data.

We can also help you with the following:

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How Ventura Bus Lines cleaned up its Act

Melbourne?s Ventura Bus Lines grew from a single bus in 1924 to a mega 308-vehicle fleet by the start of 2014. The family-owned provider has always been community centric; when climate-change became an issue it took quick and urgent action. As a result it now stands head and shoulders above many others. Let’s take a closer look at some of its decisions that made the difference.

The Important Things to Focus On

Ethanol Buses ? Ventura is the only Australian company that uses ethanol power produced from sugar cane for experimental public transport. It compares emissions within its fleet, and knows that these produce significantly less CO2 while also creating jobs for locals.

Electric Buses ? The company has been operating electric buses since 2009. These carry 42 seated among a total 68 passengers. The ride is smooth thanks to twin battery banks kept charged by braking and forward momentum. When required, a two-litre VW engine kicks in automatically.

Ongoing Driver Training ? Ventura provides regular retraining sessions emphasising safe, environmentally-friending operations. Drivers are able to see their fuel consumption and carbon emissions online and experiment with ways to improve these.

Bus U-Turns ? The capacity to measure throughput convinced the company to abandon the principle that buses don’t do U-Turns for safety?s sake. Road re-engineering made this possible in a busy downtown street. This reduced emissions equivalent to 4,000 cars and reduced vehicle downtime for servicing.

Increased Business – These initiatives allowed Ventura Bus Lines to improve its service as customers experience it. This led to an uptake in patronage and a corresponding downturn in the number of passenger car hours. The pleasure of travelling green no doubt contributed to this.

How Measuring Made the Difference

Ventura Bus Lines is big business. Its 308 buses operate out of 5 depots, cover 31% of the metropole, and transport close to 70,000 passengers on average daily which is no minor task. The ability to track, measure and analyse carbon emissions throughout the area has earned it compliance with National Greenhouse Energy Reporting Threshold 1 legislation.

It also uses the data to re-engineer bus routes to further reduce fuel consumption, energy consumption and operating costs. It’s amazing how measuring is affecting its bottom line, and the health of the Melbourne community at large.

Contact Us

  • (+353)(0)1-443-3807 – IRL
  • (+44)(0)20-7193-9751 – UK
9 Cloud Security Questions you need to ask Service Providers

Companies in Ireland and the UK who are considering cloud adoption might already have a general idea of the security risks inherent in cloud computing. However, since different providers may not offer the same levels of risk mitigation, it is important to know which providers can give sufficient assurance on cloud security.

Here are 10 cloud security questions to ask service providers vying for your attention.

1. Where will my data be located?

There are a variety of reasons why you will want to ask this question. One big reason is that there are certain countries that don’t have strict legislation (or any legislation at all) pertaining to cloud computing. In that case, the provider won’t be as motivated to apply high levels of risk mitigation.

So if your data is hosted off shore, then you might want to reconsider or at least conduct a deeper study regarding the security conditions there.

2. Do you have provisions for regulatory compliance?

Certain standards and regulations (e.g. PCI DSS and possibly the EU Data Protection Directive) have specific guidelines pertaining to data stored in the cloud. If your organisation is covered by any of these legislation, then you need to know whether your provider can help you meet requirements for compliance.

3. Who will have access to my data?

In a cloud environment, where your data is going to be managed by people who aren’t under your direct supervision, you’ll have to worry as much about internal threats as you would with external threats.

Therefore, you need to know how many individuals will have access to your data. You also need to know relevant information such as how admins and technicians with data access rights are screened prior to getting hired. You also need to determine what access controls are being implemented.

4. How is data segregated?

Since there will be other clients, you will want to know how your data is going to be segregated from theirs. Is there any possibility of an accidental or intentional data breach due to poor data segregation? Find out if your data is going to be encrypted and how strong the encryption algorithm is.

5. How will you support investigative activities?

Sometimes, even if strong cloud security measures are in place, a data breach can still happen. If it does happen, the provider should have ways to track each user/administrator’s activity that can sufficiently support a detailed data forensics investigation.

Find out whether logs are being kept and how detailed they are.

6. Are we protected by a Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity plan? How?

Don’t be fooled by sales talk of 100% up-time. Even the most robust cloud infrastructures can suffer outages too. But the important thing is that, when they do fail, they should be able to get up and running in the soonest time possible.

Don’t just ask about their guaranteed RPOs and RTOs. Find out whether your data and applications will be replicated across multiple sites. Unless the provider says they will be, you need to find a provider with a better infrastructure.

7. Can I get copies of my VMs?

In a cloud infrastructure, your servers are actually in the form of files known as virtual machines (VMs). Because VMs are just files, they should be easily copied. There may be issues though, like the VMs might be stored in a not-so-popular proprietary format. Another possible issue is that the provider may simply not allow copying.

Having copies of your VMs can be useful should you later on decide to transfer to another provider or even duplicate your cloud infrastructure on your own.

8. What will happen to my data when I scale down?

One outstanding benefit of cloud computing is that when your business demands drop, you can easily scale down computing resources and reduce your cloud spending. ?But what will happen to your data when you decommission virtual servers? Will they be discarded?

You might want your data to be retained up to a certain period. On the other hand, you might also want them to be deleted immediately. Ask about the provider’s data deletion/data retention policies and see if they are in line with yours.

9. What will happen to my data if I decide to close my account?

There might come a time when you’ll want to terminate your contract with your cloud provider. Just like in issue #8, you’ll want to find out more about data deletion/data retention policies.

Although some providers can give you detailed answers, many of these answers can include a lot of technical jargon that can leave you totally confused. If you want someone you can trust to:

  • simplify those answers;
  • help you pick the right cloud service provider, and
  • even make sure cloud security is really upheld once your cloud engagement is ?under way

Contact Us

  • (+353)(0)1-443-3807 – IRL
  • (+44)(0)20-7193-9751 – UK
Energy Management Tips

Energy management is of interest to various stakeholders; be it heads of facilities, heads of procurement, heads of environment and sustainability, financial officers, renewable energy managers and heads of energy. Some of the energy management tips that can be used to achieve considerable energy savings are:

1) Purchasing energy supplies at the lowest possible price

2) Managing energy use at peak efficiency

3) Utilising the most appropriate technology

1. Purchasing energy supplies at the lowest possible price
Purchasing energy supplies at the lowest possible price could be the starting point to great savings of energy costs. This can be achieved through switching your energy supplier. It is always advisable for companies to always take time to compare the energy tariffs to ensure they are on the best tariff and make great savings.

2. Managing energy use at peak efficiency

(a) Free help

There are some online tools that offer energy-efficiency improvements. These could come in handy in helping someone find out where to make energy-efficiency improvements.

(b) Energy monitors

An energy monitor is a gadget that estimate in real time how much energy you’re using. This can help one see where to cut back on energy consumption.

(c) Turning down thermostats

Turning down radiators especially in rooms that are rarely used/empty rooms or programming the heating to turn off when no one is there can go a long way in saving energy and energy costs.

(d) Use energy saving bulbs

Use of energy-saving light bulbs can cut down on energy usage drastically. Replacing all the light bulbs with energy-saving ones could make significant savings on energy usage and replacement costs since energy saving bulbs also have a longer life.

(e) Switching off unnecessary lights

It is also important to switch off lights that are not in use and to use the best bulb for the size of room.

(f) Sealing all heat escape routes

It is recommended that all gaps should be sealed in order to stop heat from escaping. Some of the heat escape routes are: windows, doors, chimneys and fireplaces, floorboards and skirting and loft hatches. The ways through which this can be achieved are:

? Windows- use of draught-proofing strips around the frame, brush strips work better for sash windows

? Doors – use of draught-proofing strips for gaps around the edges and brush or hinged-flap draught excluders on the bottom of doors

? Chimney and fireplace – inflatable cushions can be used to block the chimney or fit a cap over the chimney pot on fireplaces that are not used often

? Floorboards and skirting – Using a flexible silicon-based filler to fill the gaps

? Loft hatches – the use of draught-proofing strips can help to prevent hot air escaping
It is also important to consider smaller holes of air such as keyholes and letterboxes.

3. Utilising the most appropriate technology
Utilisation of technology as an energy management tool can be by way of choosing more energy efficient gadgets and by way of running technological gadgets in an energy efficient manner.

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